absprechen

elroy

Imperfect Mod
US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
Hello!

Die Geräte entsprechen dem Stand der Technik und dürfen nur an Systeme angeschlossen werden, die mit der XXX GmbH abgesprochen wurden.

This sentence is from a user manual. What does "abgesprochen" mean here? Normally it means something like "discussed" or "arranged," but does that fit here? Could it be "approved" in this context?

Thanks!
 
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  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Danke! Was bedeutet das aber konkret? Dass sich die Firma und der Anwender der Geräte auf bestimmte Systeme geeinigt haben, die mit den Geräten verwenden werden können bzw. an die die Geräte angeschlossen werden können?
     
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    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    "Abgesprochen" bedeutet hier, dass der Anwender und die Herstellerfirma miteinander kommunizieren und die Firma bestätigt, dass diese Systeme verwendet werden dürfen.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "Abgesprochen" bedeutet hier, dass der Anwender und die Herstellerfirma miteinander kommunizieren und die Firma bestätigt, dass diese Systeme verwendet werden dürfen.
    Richtig. Man darf abgesprochen hier durchaus wörtlich verstehen. Wichtig ist der Kommunikationsakt. Im Englischen entspräche dies etwa der Aussage: The customer must check with XYZ Ltd. before connecting the devices to a new system.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think "approved" actually conveys the idea quite nicely in this context. The user checks with the company, and the company says "Yes, you may use the devices with this system" or "No, you may not use them with that system." It's the company's call. The word "approve" is actually used pretty frequently in American English, and it doesn't have to be super serious. (We even casually say things like "Do you approve?" to our friends if we want their opinion on an outfit.) In this case, the company's response is only binding insofar as the user wishes to abide by the stipulations of the user manual, which clearly state that the devices should not be connected to any systems that have not been "abgesprochen" with the company.
    berndf said:
    Wichtig ist der Kommunikationsakt.
    I think the communication is implicit in "approved." You can't get the company's approval without contacting them (and checking with them, as you said).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I think the communication is implicit in "approved."
    No, the company could approve a system without you talking to them. E.g. you can read the approval in a manual or web site. Absprechen implies a two way communication.
    I think "approved" actually conveys the idea quite nicely in this context.
    The result of this absprechen is not necessarily and not only an approval. They might want to discuss with you how the device should be connected or to warn you about something (e.g. that you have to power down the system before a device) or whatever. The only thing you may safely deduce from this formulation is that they want you to talk to them and not do anything before an understanding has been reached. What this understanding might be is unspecified.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    That makes sense. In that case, I think "discussed" would probably work.
    Yes, I think so. But I haven't found a 100% fitting translation for absprechen yet. It is a bit more than just discussing. A discussion can end without a consensus or an action plan how to go forward. Abgesprochen implies that and understanding has been reached on what is to be done by whom. Example: At a conference you and another person have to give a speech and wir haben unsere Vorträge abgesprochen implies that you now know exactly what you have to say and he knows exactly what he has to say so that there is no duplication, contradiction and that you jointly cover the whole topic or whatever you are trying to achieve.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Yes, I see what you're saying. I think if I were translating this user manual I might say

    The devices ... may not be connected to any system without prior consultation and agreement with XXX Ltd. about whether and how the devices can or should be used with that system.

    This is, of course, much longer than the German, but this type of explicitation may be needed to clearly convey the intended meaning.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Yet, that covers the meaning nicely. I would stop the sentence at Ltd. The remainder of the sentence has no correspondence in the German sentence and can only be contextually inferred, in the English as well as in the German version.
     

    Bondstreet

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    >> #7: "check with" doesn't really do it in AmE.

    >> #8: Do what exactly?

    "doesn't do it" means it does not solve the problem, or it is not suitable, or not acceptable. It's an American expression, although occasionally used in the UK - usually in an offhand manner.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think in English you at least need some sort of reference to the system. The German is "Systeme [...], die [...] abgesprochen wurden," whereas in English "prior consultation and agreement" could be about anything ("nach vorheriger Absprache").

    To make it more general, how about

    The devices ... may not be connected to any system without prior consultation and agreement with XXX Ltd regarding the use of the system with the devices.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    "doesn't do it" means it does not solve the problem, or it is not suitable, or not acceptable. It's an American expression, although occasionally used in the UK - usually in an offhand manner.
    I understand that. Perpend did not offer any explanation what aspect he disapproves of no why. Hence, my miffed reaction.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I think in English you at least need some sort of reference to the system.
    This reference is sufficient:
    The devices [are state of the art and] may not be connected to any system without prior consultation and agreement with XXX Ltd.
    It has all the elements contained in the German sentence.
    regarding the use of the system with the devices.
    Even that is not contained in the German system, neither explicitly more implicitly. It can only be contextually inferred.

    PS: Here (p.6) is a example of a similar clause from a booklet of a UK engineering company:
    Soldering of heat-pipes should not be attempted without prior consultation with CRS Engineering.
    I also doesn't specify what the consultation is about as it is contextually clear.
     
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    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    The German tells us that the Systeme need to be abgesprochen, so we know what the topic of the Absprache would be. That's why I felt the need to specify the topic of the consultation in the English translation.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    This is a bit of a semantic glitch (that sticks out like a sore thumb to a native speaker, btw) in the German sentence. It is the connection of the devices to the systems and not the systems which is to be "abgesprochen". I wouldn't be overly concerned with reproducing that glitch, too.
     
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